Discontent over plan to increase the size of Stevenage church

Residents are opposing a planning application to build a café on the side of a church in Basils Road

Residents are opposing a planning application to build a café on the side of a church in Basils Road Stevenage - Credit: Archant

A planning application to build a cafe and meeting room on the side of a church has sparked opposition from people living in the road.

The Bunyan Baptist Church on Basils Road in Stevenage submitted the plans to re-build a two-storey church hall, add a cafe and install a mezzanine floor in the back hall last month.

This would expand the church’s existing building considerably by expanding the cafe and meeting room.

Several people living in the area have voiced opposition to the plans saying the building would affect the amount of light they get and the increased capacity would create a ‘parking nightmare’ on the road.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’ve got nothing against the church or the vicar but this application simply cannot got ahead.

“With the lack of free parking in the area so many people who work in the Old Town park on our road and if this application goes ahead it will only get worse.

“It’s already so bad that a fire engine struggled to come down the road last week when a woman’s house caught alight.

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“The church is really busy and they have all sorts of classes there including zumba throughout the week and there’s a big congregation every Sunday so the problem for people living here would be ridiculous.

“There’s also the fact that it’s a beautiful building and putting a horrible 1970s conservatory around it would make it look horrible.

“The Old Town’s got some lovely buildings and is a beautiful place, but if the council keeps on allowing applications like this to go head they will completely ruin it.”

A group who live on the road are now planning to start a petition against the plans, which they say they will be submitting to Stevenage Borough Council next week.

The Comet contacted the Rev Dave Morris for a response on the claims but he declined and said that if anyone has an issue with the application they can go and speak to him personally.